- I don’t have a list of resolutions for the New Year. No goals that probably won’t be met. No platitudes about becoming a better person or striving for world peace. I’m in a unique place in life. I’ve been very blessed. Through a combination of dumb luck, good planning, seizing opportunities, and hard work, Mrs. Troutdog and I find ourselves at a happy crossroads. Retirement is looming around the corner. What is that going to look like? Will I spend my waning years puttering around my workbench in the garage? Will we be taking exotic motorcycle trips across southeast Asia? Maybe I’ll finally become a world famous YouTube star, or figure out what it is I’m actually trying to say with this blog. Perhaps I’ll start taking pictures again or figure out once and for all which of my 27 hobbies I want to focus on? When you were younger the saying was “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Well, here I am all grown up and I still don’t know. So that’s my plan for the year – to try and get a handle on what I want my remaining time on this planet to look like. To find my authentic voice. What do I want to say, do, and leave behind. It’s not an achievable plan. But I think it’s a good theme for the New Year.
- I finally made the Machaca. I think it came out pretty damn good. It will certainly be a do-over. There’s so many things you can do with it – tortas, street tacos, breakfast, burritos. Good stuff.
- I don’t know why I find this so frightening. The engineering is damn impressive. It’s amazing where we are from a technology perspective. I guess I just don’t trust human nature. The sci-fi conspiracy theorist in me envisions getting tased by one of these things as I try to enter a store without my Covid-39 passport.
- You’re already seeing the media reporting the administration is bungling the rollout of the China virus vaccine. What a disaster, only 3 million doses have been given by the end of the year. We were promised 20 million dammit! Ignoring what an amazing R&D accomplishment this has been, the media conveniently doesn’t report that 14 million doses have been shipped. The bottleneck is at the local level. The same thing happens with every hurricane, wildfire, and flood. Clearly we don’t teach civics any more. We are a republic of independent states. The federal government can supply resources, but it’s up to the individual states and cities to implement those resources. When you saw those rows of empty school buses unused and flooded while people frantically tried to evacuate during Katrina, that was the state and cities fault. The federal government (FEMA) prepositioned those assets and the local authorities didn’t use them. It’s a dangerous road to go down letting people think that a massive, federal big brother is in charge of everything. The framers would be appalled at what their republic has become.
- This article about the imprisonment of Assange is a bit convoluted, but a good read. What we’ve done to him is a travesty. I really liked this statement: “Whether a society is truly free is determined by how it treats its dissidents, those who live and speak and think outside of permissible lines, those who effectively subvert ruling class aims.”
- I finished my last shift and last task of the year, New Years eve, in a fitting fashion. Giving a soap suds enema to a confused, combative patient who hadn’t pooped in a week and vomiting up tube feeds every thirty minutes. Thanks 2020 and fuck you. Moving on to 2021!
- Finishing up with pics of the best dogs on the planet, the mighty Vizsla.
Song of the day: Beck – Loser (Live 2003)
- We’ve had four generally accepted industrial revolutions. Coal, Gas, Electronics and Nuclear, and the Internet. The deep thinkers and Wall Street analysts have been trying to predict what the fifth revolution, or 5IR as it’s known, will be. I postulate that it will be the advent of the Hive and that this pandemic will be looked back on as the catalyst that catapulted 5IR forward. The Hive is the collective, distributed workforce. It’s a gig economy. It no longer matters where you live. Virtually all labor can be sourced online. The pandemic forced companies to allow “work from home”. Many companies are dumping their expensive real estate, realizing it’s no longer needed. Remote workspace companies sputtered, but will roar back once humans can interact again. Every possible labor specialty is now available online – billions of individuals busy producing their specialized skill, available to everyone from anywhere at all times. Businesses are increasingly becoming simple aggregators of the hives collective work.
- The problem with the Hive is the Queen. Hives exist to serve the Queen. If the Hive were a true distributed system we’d have capitalist bliss. Unfortunately we have a few Queens in the form of Amazon, Google, AT&T, Disney, Microsoft, Fox, Twitter, and Facebook. These few bemouths collectively control most of what you purchase, watch, read, and your work environment. They actively shut down and censor any opinions they don’t agree with. They’ve made it impossible for a small mom and pop retail store to compete. Microsoft has implemented “productivity measuring tools” in all its software. Workers are not to be trusted. These companies literally know everything there is to know about you. Where you go, the time of day you went, how long you spent there, your search habits, reading habits, shopping patterns, how much you earn, what you watch, and most importantly – your political thoughts and opinions.
- You can’t blame the Queens. Queens are just doing what Queens will do. The ability to rein in a Queen rests with the collective voice of the people in the form of their elected officials. Our government is intended to represent us, to step in when a Queen gets a little too rambunctious. Therein lies our problem. The government has become a little too enamored with the power they wield. They see themselves as a Queen, a new ruling class of elites. They’ve stopped protecting the Hive. Us folks in the lower classes have been the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly boiling water, blissfully unaware. This pandemic and the election suddenly lifted the skirt a bit and gave us a peak. Our elected officials are drunk on power, printing money, trillions out thin air to distribute to their friends and donors. They’ve shut down hundreds of thousands of business, gone forever. Meanwhile they’ve allowed the Walmarts and Home Depots to stay open. You can’t go to your local coffee shop or to get your hair cut, but you can happily go to Target to score some Black Friday deals. You’re not allowed to eat in a restaurant, yet you can go to Costco and wander around eating hot dogs from the food court. The Hive outnumbers the Queen but at some point critical mass is reached and the majority of the Hive become zombies of the state. China and North Korea come to mind. The people of those countries have become mindless puppets. The ability for free thinking people to express an independent thought has disappeared. The collective Hive will turn on anyone who resists the state. The government has used the Queens to frighten the Hive into submission. Don’t believe me? Try to go shopping without a mask on. Try to post an unflattering news story about the Bidens, or question climate change on Twitter or YouTube and watch it get taken down. Facebook will flag it with a fact checked as untrue label and the commenters will pounce, labeling you a flat earther.
- So is it too late for our Hive? We’ve allowed the state to shut down business, mandate face coverings, and limit interactions with other humans, including members of your own family. Airlines and countries are actively pursuing a Covid passport that will be needed to travel. Spain will be keeping databases of people who refuse the vaccine. Officers of the state shut down business at will. Airlines eject families because two year olds aren’t wearing masks. Theaters have police remove a disabled child for not wearing a mask. Surfers are arrested for surfing alone, in contradiction to pandemic law. The state is changing election and immigration laws as fast as they can go, all to improve their ability to stay in office. How long do you think it will be before a social credit system is in place that will impact your ability to get a job, travel, or post your thoughts freely on the internet? I fear it may be too late already. However, there is unrest. You’re starting to see daily acts of rebellion, of pushing back against the state. Roughly four million people became first time gun owners this year. All available ammo has been scooped up. The lockdowns are beginning to produce pockets of resistance. Will it be enough? Will the thinking Hive start driving out the elites, or has critical mass already been reached? Americans are a unique group of people. It will be interesting to watch.
- Speaking of the pandemic that shall not be named, take a look at this graph of the case curve of all 50 states. Notice anything? The curves are almost identical in shape for every state. Lockdowns, no lockdowns, masks, no masks, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference in the outcome. The virus is going to do what viruses do. We could have printed that same several trillion dollars, used it to protect the elderly and nursing homes, shore up hospital capacity, and kept our economy flowing. But hey, at least you’ll get $600 dollars.
Song of the day: Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
- The election is over. The proverbial weight to height ratio challenged person who prefers the pronouns she/xe/zie has sung (but not in a non-socially distanced room). Could there still be a weird twist that throws this to the courts for years? Sure, it’s 2020 after all. Highly unlikely though. It’s time for Trump to show grace and concede. A bitter pill to swallow, for sure. How do you show grace to someone who’s called you a racist white supremacist over and over? How to you show grace to a party that spent more than four years going after you with every possible vicious attack, including the kitchen sink? How do you show grace to a party who had many members who refused to attend your inauguration? How do you show grace to a party that spent four years extolling their members to harass the other party whenever you see them in public? To vow to make lists of people in the current administration to ensure they never get jobs again? If it were me, I’d declare that I’m leaving because I value the peaceful transfer of power, then go scorched earth nasty. Refuse to participate in any of the pomp and circumstance of the new inauguration and declassify investigations, documents, and otherwise find ways to harm the incoming administration in any way possible. Because I’m petty like that. Trump’s in a no win situation. He does that and the media will excoriate him even more (if that’s possible). The swamp and the deep state are too big – they’re going to win no matter what. Trump’s going to have to swallow the huge shit sandwich and then use whatever money and influence he has to attack the swamp from the outside. It’s a sad mess all the way around.
- As states and cities are busy ramping up lockdowns again, I stumbled on a ZDoggMD video from back in August that perfectly describes why lockdowns were and are such a horrible idea. Well worth watching.
- As I read this article it dawned on me why nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. This country managed to create, test, and distribute a new vaccine faster than the Durham report investigation. He’s been investigating since April with no end or results in sight. We’ll be well into the Harris administration before the Durham report comes out. I’d love to have a job that has no time accountability.
- I had to change my password at work this week. Unlike every other password I have, what I choose at work has consequences. I have to log in to our EMR/charting system approximately 50 or so times a day. The password you choose has to be easy to type while standing up (try it!). I waited until the very last day and then during a brief lull in the action, reset my password to something I’d practiced and knew would be a good one. And… something went wrong. I had to get on the phone with IT who said we need to reset it and start over. So on the fly, while the support dude waited on the phone, I had to pick a new password that met all the security requirements. I panicked and chose badly. I can’t type the damn thing to save my life. It takes me at least two (if not more) attempts every time I log in. Hard to believe I was a technology guy at one point.
- Outside Magazine put out an article titled “A Bad Uncle’s Guide to Dangerous Gifts“. I fully endorse this. You are not doing kids any favors by protecting them from every conceivable danger (real or imagined) they may encounter. Go ahead and give ’em a pocket knife when they’re wee little sprouts. Sure, they’ll probably cut themselves but it’s not like they’re going to slice off a finger. They’ll heal and have a new learned respect for it. We used to send out ten year olds to tend the sheep, and help work the farm. Kids are capable of far more than we give them credit for.
- I’m scheduled for my Wuhan China Plague vaccine next week. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know if I grow a third eye or develop a rare neurologic disorder.
- I’m faced with yet another first world problem dilemma. My truck is 10 years old and has about 100,000 miles on it. Runs great, no obvious issues after my last major service. Here’s the problem. I’d like to put some farkles on it that will better fit my lifestyle. They’re not cheap. Do I spend a bunch of money on an older truck or wait until it dies and invest in a new fancy truck? Sell it and get a new truck now? Sigh, I can’t decide.
- Speaking of trucks, I still really like the Tesla Cyber truck. I would buy one in a heartbeat but I don’t think it would fit my lifestyle. I almost put my $100 deposit down the other day. Need to think about this some more.
Song of the day: Stone temple pilots “Vasoline LIVE Farm Club“
- Yesterday I was mad and frustrated. I was fed up with people on Facebook posting virtue-signaling Covid case count memes. Frustration at the lack of media coverage around alleged election fraud. I’ve had it with government lockdowns and killing of the economy and small businesses. I’m pissed that nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. As a healthcare worker I’m exhausted with the hospital working conditions and no end in sight. I sat down and started writing a long post about all this. About two-thirds of the way through I suddenly felt a huge wave of apathy settle in. Why care about any of this? It feels like the massive engine of the deep state, big tech, and the media empire is an unstoppable force. Nothing will change. There’s too much money, too much power, too much corruption. What’s the point? Why bother writing (venting) for a grand total of about three readers? I deleted my words and walked away. I’m not as apathetic today, but I do wonder if I’d be happier if I stopped paying attention to the news? I suspect this blog would do better if I just focused on one thing… cooking or fly fishing or something.
- A powerful solar storm is occurring Dec 9/10 that may produce northern lights visible in many northern states. We had cloud cover last night, so no luck. I’ll be looking again tonight.
- It’s amazing how shameless the media is. They’re now shocked that the Hunter Biden investigation went largely unnoticed prior to the election. WTF. How do these “journalists” look at themselves in the mirror in the morning?
- My hospital is drowning. Our staffing shortages are dangerous. Despite what the media reports, it’s not entirely due to covid. The city and state are frantically waving their hands in the air and desperate to do something to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. The solution? Let’s pass more regulations preventing youth sports and further limit restaurant capacity. That’s like when someone says they can’t afford new tires for their car, the government solution is to try and create smoother paved roads to reduce tire wear. How about, oh I don’t know, add resources to the health care system? We have a perfectly capable national guard who could spin up a response within days. I get that there are cost and liability issues when interacting with private entities, but I’m pretty sure we can figure that out. Rather than fix the leaks in the dam, we’re too busy educating people on the importance of wearing Gore-Tex and galoshes.
- I saw an ad for a bracelet with a little symbol for every national park you’ve visited. Made me look up my list. I’ve been to 13. Not bad. How many have you been to?
- Watched Hillbilly Elegy. Very good, highly recommend.
- This is seriously freaky. Don’t watch if home alone at night.
- Still have not made machaca. Haven’t forgotten, the timing just hasn’t worked out yet. I have a week off coming up and plenty of snow in the forecast. Skiing and cooking sounds like a fine way to spend my time.
Song of the day: The Who “Young man blues – live at Isle of Wight“
- Last night Mrs Troutdog and I participated in an on-line Zoom cooking class. It was sort of a corporate thank you gift. They sent a meal kit with all the ingredients, aprons emblazoned with the corporate logo, and a bottle of wine paired for the meal. Everyone connected on-line at the appointed hour and a celebrity chef walked us through putting our meal together. Or at least that’s how it was supposed to go. To the chef’s credit, this would be a hard forum to work in. He’s got an hour to get this done. It’s not in-person so people can’t really ask questions. Because it was real-time there was no way to go backwards if you missed a step. The chef was high energy and moved quickly. The end result was a frenetic hour of us trying to chop, stir, sauté, and mix while desperately trying to keep up. There were zesting accidents that drew blood. Literally every bowel, pan, and dish in the kitchen got pulled out at some point. We were laughing like maniacs as we just randomly threw ingredients in pans because we’d missed what he did. It ended up being pretty fun, but the kitchen looked like a war zone at the end. Good times, but I sure miss doing things in person with people.
- Project Veritas dropped another recorded call from CNN. In it they discuss that they are not going to air the Hunter Biden emails. If you’re an honest person and have been a fan of CNN, I’d hope this at least makes you wonder what else they’re choosing not to report.
- The great shearing event happened yesterday. To my great surprise, Mrs Troutdog said she likes my hair a little long, it just needed to not be so unruly. I feel sorry for the hairdresser trying to interpret my cutting instructions. “We’re trying to cut it today, so it will grow out correctly in a Brad Pitt look. Not Fight Club Brad Pitt, but Legends of the Fall or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brad Pitt. Can you do that?” She gave me a long look and said, “so do you want it above the ears or over the ears?”. Sadly, I did not come out looking like Brad Pitt.
- While they haven’t all been Democrats, the vast majority of the “rules for thee, not for me” crowd have been. Why is that? At some point, people are going to have had enough. The randomness of the rules shutting down bars, restaurants, and boutiques, yet the Walmarts and Costcos remain open isn’t going to be tolerated forever. At some point this is going to get ugly and violent. Do these power hungry elites really want to put our police in the position of enforcing arbitrary rules on some poor schmuck who’s going to lose his business? I can’t eat at a restaurant, but I can go to Home Depot and stand in line with hoards of other people to buy tacky inflatable Santas and other Christmas crap? I hope people start pushing back soon.
- It’s interesting how peoples perception of distance changes. We’ve got friends who just moved to our little town from LA. Previously they would have thought nothing of driving 45 minutes to go 20 miles just to do an errand. I caught him yesterday complaining that there was no easy route to get out of the neighborhood to the store (that’s two miles down the road).
- The clock is running out for Trump. The electoral college votes on December 14. Seven business days left to make something happen. I don’t see it occurring. Do I think there was pretty significant fraud? Yep. To the level that Powell and Giuliani are claiming? Not so sure about that. Mrs Troutdog gets frustrated at me for being so pessimistic, but I think the swamp, the establishment, the deep state or whatever you want to call it, is just too entrenched. These people don’t want the status quo to change. I honestly don’t think the republican party wants to be in charge – they’d have to actually take a stand on something and that might risk their re-election chances. Much easier to run to the TV cameras and make fiery speeches, then go back and do nothing. Sorry, I’m a little cynical today.
Song of the day: X “More fun in the new world (live 1983)”